May 29, 2010

Grace, for real this time

How lucky for me that CF KoP had "Grace" on tap yesterday, after I only did 29 reps my last attempt? Very lucky!

Before I took my turn, I got to watch a very inspiring performance by a CF KoP athlete, Dorothy. She was doing her first Rx benchmark ever. And had a PR power clean of 103 going into the WOD. Watching Aimee work with her, and being her rep counter and encourager, was so inspiring. That is exactly what I want to do with my time and effort. No just coach and correct. Help people, especially women, discover that they are made of stronger stuff than they think.
30 Clean and jerk (135/95) for time.

Results:  4:46, woooot!
Also, check out this awesome picture of my game face! Thanks for taking and posting that Aimee/Jason! Love it! hehe

Who knew I had such a bad underbite when I'm angry at the barbell?? :-p

May 26, 2010

Three days at CF KoP

For some reason I've been lazy about posting my WODs this week. Time to catch up. :)

But first, shoutout to Donkey -- if you're reading, leave me a comment! Profanity welcomed! :-p

Monday morning I drove to Philly (this week of my trip I'm staying with my in-laws) and hit up CF KoP for the 6:30 WOD. It was fun to be back and see lots of familiar faces. As a bonus Aimee was even teaching the 6:30 class -- I didn't get to see her over Christmas, as she was taking a well-deserved vacation.

We did 4 mini workouts, each 3 minutes long.
  1. Wall ball - as many shots as possible above 10 foot line in 3 mins
  2. Deadlift - as many reps as possible in 3 mins
  3. Row - as many calories as possible in 3 mins
  4. Atlas stone - as many ground to shoulder as possible in 3 mins
  1. Wall ball - 32 @ 14#
  2. Deadlift - 40 @ 95#
  3. Row - 47 w/ regular damper (noticed some people were putting theirs on 10)
  4. Atlas stones - 12 @ 60#
The Atlas stones were interesting to say the least! I have a little bruising on both collar bones, and some bad bruising on my right clavicle. Which made the front squats I did today challenging, but I'm still glad I got to try the stones. I have been intrigued by strongman stuff since they started playing "World's Strongest Man" competitions on ESPN.

Got some good feedback on row from Aimee -- only go back to 11 o'clock on the pull. I will give that a shot next time I'm rowing.

Tuesday was a benchmark WOD, which made me nervous all day, but I was excited to WOD with Steph and Cindy.
As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
400m run
Max pullups

Score is total number of pullups.
Results: 36

If anyone heard a sound during my first round of pullups, that was the sound of me blowing my own mind. I did 6 freaking pullups in a row! Then squeezed out 2 more before I dropped off the bar. Holy hell!

Proof of two things. I perform better when I feel like I'm working out in a supportive environment. And I perform SO MUCH BETTER when I'm eating food that is good for me. I've been focusing on cutting out sugar and dairy for the past few days, and upping the protein, and I'm back to feeling normal, instead of feeling like shit. I love Paleo. Hoping to dial back into being grain free very soon, but I'm just taking baby steps back into it at the moment.

I wish I had written down the rounds, but I think they played out something like this: 8-7-7-6-5-3

After the amazing first round of pullups, I was sooooo wanting to get to 40, but it just didn't happen. I would've been 2 closer, but 2 of my attempts on round 6 didn't quite get chin over the bar. I'm just happy I gutted out 3 good ones that round.

PS - This is another Rx'd benchmark WOD to check off the list! Woot! :-D

Tonight (Wednesday) was a strength day, which I was soooooooooo ready for. Haven't had a good strength day in what feels like forever.

Front squat: 3-3-3-3-3
Weighted ring dips: 1-1-1-1-1-1-1

Front squats were a bit challenging because of my aforementioned Atlas stone clavicle bruising. Owie! I got somebody's old tshirt out of the lost and found to pad my shoulder, and that really helped for my last three sets. Set #2 was almost a train wreck because I was so distracted by my shoulder hurting.

Results: 95-105-115-125-135

I am happy to report a new PR! My old 1RM was 125, and tonight I did 135 for 3. It was definitely a *struggle* on the way back up for each of the 3 reps, but I made it! What a great feeling! And it was cool to have a little cheering section right there with me, I felt a little bit like a CF rockstar. :-p

Next, it was on to dips. I just worked body weight dips since I can barely do a single body weight ring dip right now. First attempt I missed, then I got the next two. Then the ladies decided I needed to try a muscle up, which I totally wussed out on. My kip was just weak and I know I wasn't focused enough to do it. But I got some good feedback from Jason, and I have some things to practice.

Fourth attempt was a jumping muscle up, I went through transition by jumping and then pressed out of the bottom to do my dip. Fifth attempt was the end of another assisted muscle up, with my feet on a box in front of me. Got the sixth just on the rings, and failed on the seventh.

All in all, fun times, and a great three days of CrossFit. Tomorrow might be a rest day -- my dog seems to have ripped off part of her dew claw, so I have to get her to the vet. Poor girl. On a happier note, SHOPPING! It's so nice to be near stores I like, even if it's only temporary. :-D

May 21, 2010

WOD at the Y

Today I decided to hit the local Y and check out their weight room. It wasn't too bad, actually, so that was a pleasant surprise. (Didn't make the long drive out to CF Pittsburgh since the WOD kinda bored me -- 4 rounds: 400m run, 50 squats. Meh.) The had decent pullup stations on both the squat racks, and they even had a 24'' plyo box for me to jump on. Yay! :)

Here's the WOD I came up with, modified from an old WOD I found on CF Camden website.
push jerk (95lbs/65)
knees to elbows
overhead squats (95lbs/65)
box jumps 20"
Results: ~30 minutes

I know, LAME on the time, right? But I found that I was having performance anxiety to be doing this stuff in front of people and it was making my heart race. Very weird. Just my social anxiety acting up, I guess...

I put push jerks in there because after reviewing my video from Grace a couple weeks ago, I realized how much my jerks were sucking. I wasn't locking out before sticking the landing, so I ended up pressing the weight a bit at the end to get it fully overhead and locked out. Ewwww. I guess it was good that I was stuck working out in front of a mirror today, because I able to watch my form. At such a light weight it wasn't super challenging, but hopefully it reinforced good movement.

K2Es... Was basically doing 2 at a time for most of them. Eh. I hate those things.

The whole purpose of paying the 1-day entrance to the Y was to work on some barbell stuff, especially OHS. I just felt like doing them, and then I read this article by Dan John that convinced me I needed some OHS this week. It was a little bit of a bummer not to snatch the weight off the ground. Honestly I feel more stable in the overhead lockout when I've snatched the bar into overhead. But taking the bar off the rack seemed more prudent considering the environment.

Cool down was 15 pullups, max handstand hold (45 seconds-ish), 5 pullups, max handstand hold (30 seconds-ish).  I also did a couple pullups in my warmup, which was the 2nd reason for paying to get into the Y. Surprisingly the outdoor track I used for my "altered" Eva did not have a pullup bar. So strange. Or maybe I am just used to working out on military bases?

OMG, I have no idea why this is so long, sorry to anyone who actually read the whole thing. :)

Oh yeah, one more thing -- I'm now on beyond the whiteboard, so if any of you know how we can be friends on there, or see each other's WODs there, let me know. :)

May 19, 2010

Altered Eva

Yesterday I decided I'm definitely buying a kettlebell. So this morning I was looking through my posts labeled with "kb swings", and decided that it would be cool to do a modified version of "Eva" as my first WOD with it.

My dad was looking for a putter, and found me a 45# kettlebell for a great price at a local discount/used sporting goods store, Play It Again Sports. Love that place! I'm pumped they actually had kb's in stock, so I could support a local business instead of sending my money to D*ck's or another big-box store.

Tonight I hit the store, bought the bell, and headed to the track to take on my WOD!
"Altered Eva"
5 rounds:
800m run
30 kb swings
30 pushups

Results: I have no idea what my time was, because I was using the stopwatch on my iPod and the battery went dead during the run in the 2nd round. Oh well!

Honestly, I have eaten so horribly the last few days, and also earlier today, that it was all I could to do the finish the WOD, let alone achieve any kind of reasonable finish time. I think it took me about an hour. There was lots of resting, spitting, burping and leaning over feeling pukey. Gotta love it... :-X

But, on the bright side, I finished all 5 rounds even though I really wanted to quit early. I swung my 45# bell in sets of 20 and 10 for all the rounds. And I swung it 150 times total! Also, I got several sets of 10 consecutive pushups. There's a tiny glimmer of pride to be gleaned from today. :)

It feels good to be so sore and tired that all I want to do is lay on the couch and drink water. :)

May 18, 2010

100 burpees

Well, I finally did this one! Last time I went on an extended trip I kept telling myself the next workout would be 100 burpees. Today was finally the day!

Results: 10:43

That's basically a 10 burpee/minute pace, right? I'm OK with that. :-p

Immediately after finished the burpees, I did a set of 50 situps, rested a bit and did 50 more. Then 50 squats, and 10 walkout pushups. I need to incorporate those into my warmups more, they really get the shoulders going.

And now I am very late for showering to have lunch with my parents and their friend, so I'm off. But hopefully I'll report back tomorrow about a WOD at CF Pittsburgh. :)

May 16, 2010


Tom's roommate Chels joined us in the basement today for a CrossFit threesome (teehee!). We did a modified version of this vacation WOD (originally from CF KoP).
Results: 12:10

This was a good mix of a quickie workout, and one where you were *really* hurting in the middle of it. I forgot how brutal it is to do squats after all of those lunges. OW.

I did a few 30 second handstand holds to finish it off. :)

Also, I should add that Chelsea is pretty convinced that CrossFit rocks! :-D

May 15, 2010

WOD-ing with ThomASS

I'm visiting one of my best friends right now, in the town where we both did our undergrad degrees. He's graduating with his PhD this weekend, and I am so damn proud of him. :)

He did a quick vacation WOD with me yesterday.
10 rounds:
10 pushups
10 situps
10 squats
We didn't time ourselves, but we were sweaty and breathing hard, and he said he's feeling it in his arms a bit today. I definitely convinced him that simple workouts done for time can be pretty effective. :)

Today I finally dragged myself off the couch around 7 (we had some drinks last night, so it was a *very* lazy day) and did a ramped-down version of this killer WOD.
5 rounds:
10 dumbbell hang squat cleans
10 dumbbell push presses
10 dumbbell front squats
10 man makers
Results: ~27 minutes

I used my 12# dumbbells, which was a lot easier than the 20 pounders I used last time I attempted the full version of this one. But still a good workout. Those man makers are a freaking arm-killer!

Erin is certified! And I really need to finish the write-up of my cert...

Why Can't You?

And in a similar vein -- But what CAN I do?

This is a great explanation of why I need to get started with a new list of goals. And a plan to achieve them...

Top 10 intermediate mistakes
#10. Taking yourself too seriously. I get it, this Crossfit stuff is awesome and fun. However, in the end it is about working out. You aren’t good enough to get mad. Maintain some perspective on the whole thing. Your family, your religion, your country… these are things to take seriously.

If you don’t enjoy the journey, you’re in it for the wrong reasons.

Bonus: #11. Newsflash: You probably aren’t going to make it to Aromas. Neither am I. Here is the weird part- it doesn’t really matter. Honestly, it is a little anti-climactic. You have to love  training and working hard for its own sake, not for the sake of some competition you probably aren’t going to make.
I added the italics. Lately CrossFit hasn't been fun for me. And reading this reminded me that it should be. And if it's not, something needs to change. I'm working on it.

May 11, 2010

Words from Stephanie, WOD by Christine

A reminder:

"Even though I have set these goals, they are not why I Crossfit. I Crossfit because I love my body. I Crossfit because it helps me to experience the present moment (my meditation). I have goals, but in every workout I am committed to loving and accepting my body's current abilities. I believe with every part of me, that the only way to truly attain "what we want" is by accepting and taking joy in what we already have."
- Stephanie

Something that I've read about 3 times, but don't have a coherent response to yet. But very thought-provoking...

What's Eating You?

Yesterday we did a WOD that was created by one of our members. She has been CrossFitting for several months, and back in March participated in our Paleo challenge. She saw *amazing* results from changing her diet -- she's lost over 20 pounds and 2 clothing sizes, and her performance in the gym is absolutely taking off. Way to go Christine! The thought of the smile on her face as she told me about her new summer sundresses is what pushed me through this WOD. She worked hard and she so deserves her success, health and happiness. :)
"Our Christine"
For time:
1000m row
10 rounds:
10 pullups
10 situps
10 pushups
Results: ~38 minutes; only finished 8 rounds

4:14 again on the 1k row. I'm satisfied with that.

I've had some pesky palm issues with my hands, so I decided to hang from my fingers for the pullups. Well, that worked until round 7 when I started tearing the skin off the middle of my fingers. So I switched to palm grip, and by the end of the 10 pullups in round 8 I had ripped off a huge chunk of my right hand, and reopened two other hot spots. So, I was done.

I love you Christine, and I wanted to finish your WOD! My arms had 20 more pullups left in them, but my hands did not.

The good news is that I was kipping up to and over the bar just about every time. There were a few ugly pullups, but they were absolutely in the minority. That was my main goal for the WOD and I'm glad I achieved it.

In relaying the events of my workout to my husband, I realized that my pushups have really been getting awesome. I know I have been down on myself about pullups, and I think that's because they are so symbolic to me. If I can do pullups, I am *absolutely* strong and I can conquer anything. Losing them made me feel vulnerable, I think? Anyway, pushups are badass too, so I embrace them as my new strength until I get fully back on my feet with the pullups. :)

Leaving in a few minutes to take a trip north and spend some time with my family. MUCH NEEDED time with my family. I also get to see one of my best friends graduate from Penn State with his doctorate. I am so freakin' proud of him. :)

May 7, 2010

Cindy and Diane

I meant to blog yesterday, but just didn't get around to it.

On Thursday we did Cindy.
As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
5 pullups
10 pushups
15 squats
Results: 7 rounds + 5 pullups

I think I did one set of 2 pullups. The rest were singles. And despite my practice session on Tuesday where I kipped over the bar, probably only 20% of the pullups I did for Cindy were "one pull". The rest were those really slow, tortured, double-pull trainwrecks.

Back in early March I did a partner version of Cindy, and did 5 or 6 rounds where I did all 5 pullups in a row. Depressing.

Though I guess I should remind myself that I had to first progress in order to regress... And maybe I'm learning something that will help me coach others through this kind of thing...

If anyone puts 7 rounds up on our PR board, I'm going to erase it. It's fucking embarrassing...

Today's WOD was Diane.

Deadlift (225/145)
Handstand pushups
Results: 20:22

Did HSPU with 2 AbMats. That feels a little shallow, even though I go to failure so quickly. It will be time to drop down to 1 mat soon.

I am really proud of how far I've come with handstands. I can kick up into one with no problem now, and it definitely used to be a skill where I was a total disaster. I'd like to learn how to kip, because I think I would need that in order to get my head to the ground, or to do them on plates or paralettes like in competition.

I considered doing 155 deadlifts, but could barely do 145, so I left it alone. My back tightened up a tiny bit on these -- my form wasn't as good as it could have been. And my deadlift return is still a total trainwreck. At least the setup seems to be solid now, and the pull.

Video from CrossFit Portland. I feel like I've put this one in a post before, but it's all good, cause it's worth watching again.

A tribute to women of CrossFit Portland from CrossFit Portland on Vimeo.

May 4, 2010

Some thoughts, and Grace

To my peeps -- thank you for your encouraging and ass-kicking comments.

The reason I keep bringing up gaining weight is because those 5-7 pounds are the difference between easy pullups and hard pullups. Obviously, easy is the preferred variety. :)

What you all reminded me is that I have the strength, I'm just not using it properly. What I need to focus on is improving my kipping skills so that I'm more effectively moving whatever my body weight is up and over the bar. That skill improvement will serve  me for a lot longer than just telling myself that pullups will get better once I get my food choices dialed in and I lose that 5-7 pounds of body fat.


(Side note: I just cannot go back to the using the band. Not happening. I know this problem is skill-based / MENTAL, so I will not coddle my bad attitude with a crutch like that. Not happening. And it's not ego, either -- if I truly thought I gained that much weight, or lost that much strength, I would go back to the band. But I haven't. I have just lost my confidence in myself, and the only way back to a good place with confidence is for me to do what scares me.)

Feeling like total ass is also teaching me a lesson about food choices.

I think this is probably the way I felt when I first started CrossFit -- no wonder I wanted to just quit and felt so defeated! This crap food is dragging me down, it's making my body store fat, it's making me depressed and tired, and it's absolutely killing my performance in the gym.

So, really, does the "enjoyment" of eating something like ice cream really balance out all those negatives?

We all know the answer to that question. It's NO.

Yet again Paleo wins because of how it makes us feel and perform -- those two benefits go so much deeper than a number on the scale or how our bodies look. It's not me depriving myself or playing head games with myself -- it's just a conscious decision to fuel my body in a way that improves how I feel doing the things I love.

But it's a familiar cycle... I feel bad emotionally, so I eat crap (or in the past smoked cigarettes or drank alcohol) so I will feel bad physically. The food binges that have taken place during April have been off the fucking charts people. Just incredibly bad.

But starting today I can look ahead and begin anew with treating my body the way it deserves to be treated. Treating myself the way I deserve to be treated.

Today's benchmark WOD was "Grace". It's been bugging me that I only had a time for this WOD at 85#, so I was very happy to try it again at 95#. Most published times for female athletes are at 95, so now I'll know for sure how I stack up. (I know, I should compete against myself, etc etc etc, but I can't help it :-p)
30 clean & jerk (135/95) for time.
Results: 4:51

I am annoyed to report that I was not totally ecstatic after finishing this WOD. I felt like I could've gone faster. And I didn't beat my old time, even though I did do 10 pounds more today -- 85# took 4:45.

I used my iPod to video myself, and I am bummed to report that upon review I jacked up the count, and only did 29 reps. ARGH! I can't fucking count when I'm doing these WODs... I knew I was starting to screw up the count, so I handed off to a spectator, but it was already too late. I told her I was just finished with 12, when I had really only done 11. Ack.

The video also showed me that my knees were caving in on some of my cleans (ew!) and that I had totally crappy push jerks near the end. I was basically busting out a push press instead of locking out while dropping under so I could just stand the weight up.

But honestly, today was a good day in the gym. After Grace was over, I worked on my kipping swing and I was able to kip up to the bar. Whatever was going on yesterday, the best way to get over it is to just get back to practicing my pullups daily, like I used to.

Time to shower up and get out of the house. I'm going to wear my black or brown dress to run errands cause it's too damn hot for clothes (high 90's) and my sweat won't show as much. :-D

May 3, 2010


1000m row
50 thrusters (45/25)
30 pullups

Results:  18:10

HORRIBLE doesn't even begin to describe the trainwreck of this WOD for me. Previous times for this WOD were 14 minutes and 10 minutes, using a blue band for pullups.

I know if I had done this WOD in March or April it would've been more like 12 minutes. Regressing, instead of progressing, is such a fucking bummer.

It's mainly a crappy kip (which for me comes from a crappy attitude) that killed my pullups today. I was 3/4 kipping, 1/4 deadhanging. Not effective at all.

We're supposed to be doing lots of "girls' this month at the box. Should be a mother fucking train wreck...